In early November, the University of Lethbridge launched Nourish as part of an ongoing effort to support food security on campus. Combining existing and new programs, Nourish helps students facing food scarcity while providing our campus community ways to help.
Erin Phillips, uLethbridge Chaplain, has been on the front lines of post-secondary food insecurity for several years. Her recent studies found that one in four uLethbridge students admitted to running out of food without the resources to buy more. Nearly 15 per cent of students said they had gone a day without food because they could not afford any, and more than 28 per cent of the same students said this would happen at least once a week. Furthermore, fewer than eight per cent of students reported having used the ULSU food bank.
With need to raise awareness and address food security issues collectively, Nourish unites existing efforts across campus to support more students. Spanning Dinner for Six, the Little Library Food Pantries, Buy a Student Breakfast, Campus Care Parcels, the ULSU Food Bank and Food for Thought, Nourish has found ways to promote health and wellbeing on campus and provide hundreds of students with nutritious options in only a few short weeks.
Through Buy A Student Breakfast, students received more than 750 free breakfast coupons donated by uLethbridge alumni, faculty, staff and community members. Each coupon is good for a breakfast sandwich and a coffee or tea. This initiative was also supported by 100 Kids Who Care.
Nourish raised nearly $1,300 for Little Library Food Pantries, boxes throughout campus stocked with non-perishable, grab-and-go food items for students to take as needed.
Dinner for Six saw alumni host students for a nutritious meal just before the final exams started. From November 18 to 27, 31 alumni hosted 17 dinners and fed 98 students, creating connections over delicious food.
For 18 years, the Campus Care Parcel program has distributed non-perishable food items to students, fuelling them through final exams. This initiative has deep roots in the uLethbridge community, and this year, volunteers from across our campus and city assembled 330 parcels to give students.
Establishing a greater understanding of existing food resources is one step to tackling student hunger. By providing students the tools and nutrition they need to succeed, we can help them achieve their goals without financial stress. Thanks to compassion and collaboration, Nourish has demonstrated the impact our campus can have on those in need.
Learn more about Nourish: